Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

After I made chocolate oatmeal, I was inspired to try out many more flavours. Pumpkin pie oatmeal sounded too good not to be made. I'm very happy that it tasted as good as it sounded. It's so creamy, packed with cinnamon and, most importantly, healthy. Oh, and easy. Too easy.

1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup water
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup pumpkin puree

1) Bring the milk and water to boil.
2) Add the oats and pumpkin puree and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3) Add the cinnamon, salt, spice, brown sugar and cook for an additional minute.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter. two magical words. In fact, I don't really like plain peanut butter by itself and I wouldn't eat it from the jar but added to baked goods it creates an amazing flavour. At least for now, I have never tried a bad tasting peanut butter dessert. Okay, now about these peanut butter cookies. Actually I'm not sure if I have ever made anything easier than this. Only three ingredients and you have the most delicious, fragrant treat. These cookies are very crunchy. However, they're slightly chewy in the centre and you have to be very careful about not overbaking them in order to achieve this texture. The sea salt made them completely fantastic.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (I used homemade)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Sea Salt for sprinkling (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, sugar and egg until combined. With a small ice cream scoop, or just using your hands, form balls and place them on parchment paper.

3) Using a fork (or your hands), press down the cookies lightly to flatten, but don't flatten too much. Sprinkle with sea salt.

4) Bake until slightly golden brown, cracked, and still soft to the touch, 10-12 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Take them out of the oven when they still look a little bit underdone in the center because they will harden a bit. If you overbake them, the cookies will loose their chewiness. Cool completely on rack.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

I don't remember when I last baked something with blueberries. After making a blueberry coffee cake where my blueberries sank, honestly, I was a little bit afraid to experience it again. But this time I floured the blueberries very well and they were so beautifully distributed in the whole muffin. They also rose very nicely, were moist, soft and packed with juicy berries. This recipe is a keeper. I will now look for a perfect blueberry muffin recipe with crumb topping and I also can't wait to try blueberry rolls. In fact, my freezer is full of berries! I have tons of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, wild strawberries, cherries, black and red currants. It's almost spring and there will be fresh strawberries so I have to hurry up and use them up!

Recipe adapted from here.
280g/2 cups all purpose flour
3g/1/2 tsp salt
8g/2 tsp baking powder
120g/8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
280g+1tbsp/1-1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
125ml/1/2 cup whole milk
250g/2 cups blueberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)

1) Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Grease 12 muffin cups.

2) Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

3) Cream the butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar in a large bowl, until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add to the flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just until smooth.

4) Coat the blueberries with flour and mix into the batter.

5) Fill the muffin cups with batter. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the tops of muffins. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completelys before removing from the cups.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal

Obviously, this oatmeal is for those who HATE oatmeal. Because after you taste this - you fall in love with oats. It feels like you're eating a rich in fat and gooey chocolate dessert. However, it is a ridiculously easy and simple dish. The banana adds moistness and makes this oatmeal super rich. But make sure you use good quality cocoa! Otherwise, you won't get that amazing flavour. It is also low in calories, healthy and nutritious food. I think I've mentioned enough reasons for loving oats and this dessert. And I actually feel inspired to try oatmeal with many more flavours!

1/2 cup/40g rolled oats
1/2 cup/120ml water
1/2 cup/120ml milk
pinch of salt
1/2 medium banana, mashed
1-1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

1) Bring the milk and water to a boil.

2) Add the oats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3) Add the banana, salt, cocoa powder, brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until all the liquid is absorbed (about 1 minute).

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Plain Scones

Recently I've been eating sweets for breakfast. I bought some raspberry jam and wanted to make some bread to eat it with but didn't really  want to make a sandwich bread again. First I was attracted by homemade english muffins (which I will be definitely trying) but this time I made simple scones. I couldn't think of anything easier to make. They're flaky and slightly salty what I really loved. The combination of sweet and salty is always a winner. But I'm sure these would taste fine with cheese or any other spread too.

250g/2 cups self-raising flour
pinch of salt
30g unsalted butter
125ml/1/2 cup milk
80ml/1/3 cup water
milk, extra, to glaze

1) Preheat oven to 210 deg. C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2) Sift the flour and salt. Add the butter and rub in lightly using your fingertips.

3) Make a well in the centre of the flour. Add almost all of the milk and water. Mix with a flat-bladed knife to a soft dough, adding more liquid, if necessary.

4) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead breafly until smooth. Press or roll out the dough to form a round about 1-2cm/1/2-1/3inch thick.

5) Cut the dough into 5cm/2inch rounds. Place them on your baking tray and glaze with milk. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with jam or whatever you like!

Makes 12 scones.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

No-Bake PB Krispy Treats

My obsession for healthy food is continuing. Okay, rice krispies aren't the most healthy ingredient, but overall these treats are healthy enough to eat all of them, ah I mean, some. To be honest, I really ate almost all of them at once. That's the disadvantage of healthy food. If I know it's healthy, I eat nonstop.

No-Bake PB Krispy Treats

2/3 cup rice krispies
1/2 cup of homemade peanut butter*
1 cup ground oats
1 tbsp dried coconut
3 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp water

*I made my own by processing 100g of  peanuts with 1 tsp honey.

1) In a medium bowl, combine together rice crispies, ground oats and dried coconut.

2) In a small saucepan, set over low heat peanut butter, honey and water for a few minutes until honey is melted and everything is combined.

3) Pour it over the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. The mixture will be sticky so it is best to form the balls with wet hands.

Makes about 20-25 bite-size balls.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

This is a basic recipe for Irish soda bread. It is a dense and soft bread, perfect for toasting! Actually I've never tasted any similar bread so this is a nice addition to my bread recipe list.
Oh, and it doesn't really look like Irish soda bread because I baked it in a loaf pan in order to have a shape suitable for toasting.

187g/1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
120g/1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
270ml/1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk

1) Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the buttermilk and mix just until a soft dough forms.

3) Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 1 minute to blend the ingredients more thoroughly. Form into a ball and flatten slightly. Dust with a little bit of flour and slash an "X" in the top with the tip of a sharp knife. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

4) Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. Cool slightly on wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf.

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